WASHINGTON (NewsNation Now) — Tuesday in Washington was a tale of two cities, with a White House consumed by advancing President Joe Biden’s COVID-19 relief package, while at the other end of Pennsylvania Avenue the U.S. Senate sat in official judgment of his predecessor. The president said that he was not focused on the impeachment trial.
“We’ve already lost 450,000 people and we’re gonna lose a whole lot more if we don’t act and act decisively and quickly. A lot of people as I said a lot of children are going to bed hungry a lot of families are food insecure they’re in trouble. That’s my job. The Senate has their job,” President Biden said.
To that end, the president along with Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen met Tuesday afternoon with several leaders in the financial community, including Chase CEO Jamie Dimon, Walmart CEO Doug McMillan and Tom Donahue with U.S. Chamber of Commerce.
“We’re here to talk about the state of the economy, our recovery package, we’re going to talk about, God willing, about infrastructure down the road and also about the minimum wage,” President Biden said.
But questions linger as to whether the House and particularly the Senate are able to do their jobs amid the distraction of a second Trump impeachment trial.
“Look, I think prosecuting President Trump is part of our business along with fast tracking COVID relief to struggling families across the country to struggling small businesses across the country state and local governments. We can and will do both,” said Sen. Alex Padilla (D-Calif.).
Part of doing both is proceeding with confirming the president’s cabinet. Neera Tanden, nominated to head the Office of Management and Budget, answered for some of her past public remarks on Tuesday.
“I do think the last several years have been very polarizing and I apologize for my language that has contributed to that,” she said.
Kansas Republican Sen. Roger Marshall thinks it’s all a distraction.
“This impeachment is causing us to not do our job up here, it’s driving the temperature up and it’s taking our eye off the ball. We should be focused on getting vaccines into people’s arms and getting the economy open again,” Sen. Marshall said.
On the House side of the Capitol, it was business or at least virtual business as usual. California Democrat Rep. Salud Carbajal (CA-24) chaired a Transportation Subcommittee hearing.
He was asked if it was a distraction having the trial going on, while trying to also get the business of COVID relief.
“No, I think the nature of Congress is that we have a lot of balls in the air a lot of different things and hearings happening at one time and certainly for me today having this hearing just highlights that,” Rep. Carbajal said.
The week will see the impeachment trial every day, and more hearings as well.